Current Conditions

Alerts

Small plants stand just above he ground with frost crusted leaves. The plants hang out over an ice covered pool

NPS Photo / Alison Taggart-Barone

Winter 2024

Recent winter storms have left fresh snow in the sequoia groves. Before visiting check weather forecasts and be prepared for winter driving and tire chain restrictions.

Both lanes of Generals Highway are closed between the junction with Wolverton Road in the south and Montecito Lodge in the north. Giant Forest, the General Sherman Tree, and the Wolverton snowplay area are accessible from the south. It is not possible to drive between the parks, between Grant Grove and Giant Forest. Wolverton Road is open.

Planning to visit the giant sequoias? Expect cold temperatures. During winter storms, expect heavy snow to fall in Grant Grove and Giant Forest.

Winter is a wonderful time to visit giant sequoias! However, check weather forecasts for the area of the park you are planning to visit. Temperatures in sequoia groves are often below freezing, especially in the mornings and evenings and on cloudy days. When rain is forecast for the foothills, there may be fresh snow or very cold rain falling in the sequoia groves. Due to hazardous driving conditions, consider delaying your visit until after winter storms have ended. Whenever you visit this winter, be prepared and bring warm clothing such as long pants, a jacket or two, a hat, and gloves.

Be Prepared for Tire Chain Restrictions

Tire chain restrictions can be in effect on some park roads due to either snow or ice on roads. Be prepared for winter driving: bring chains, cables, or other snow traction attachment for your vehicle. When chain restrictions are in effect, all vehicles are required to carry chains or other snow traction attachment.

Most roads that usually close during the winter season, such as the Generals Highway between the parks, Panoramic Point Road and Crescent Meadow / Moro Rock Road, are now closed for the season.

Expect some construction delays on Generals Highway.

Expect occasional delays at some locations on Generals Highway as crews continue to work repairing roads damaged during the winter of 2022-2023.

 

Check Weather Forecasts Prior to Your Visit

Because of the extreme elevation range in the parks, weather conditions vary widely between areas. In summer, the sequoia groves have comfortable temperatures and the foothills are hot and dry. Snow lingers on high-mountain passes well into summer. In fall, conditions can range from summer-like to winter-like. Winter brings snow to sequoia groves and rain to the foothills. Be prepared for tire chain requirements. Spring is a great time to hike in the foothills and snow begins to melt at higher elevations.

 

Area-Specific Conditions and Road Information

  • Coming from the south, Generals Highway is closed at the junction with Wolverton Road. See below for the section of the highway that is closed for the season. General Sherman Tree and Wolverton snowplay area are accessible from the south but not from Grant Grove in the north. See the seasonal closure of Generals Highway below.

Seasonal Road Closures

  • Generals Highway between the parks, from Wuksachi Lodge to Montecito Sequoia Lodge is closed for the winter season. It typically reopens in mid-March depending on conditions.
  • Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow Road (Giant Forest, Sequoia National Park) is closed to public vehicle traffic due to snow accumulation on the road.
  • Highway 180 to Cedar Grove (Kings Canyon National Park) is closed for the season at the Hume Lake Road gate.
  • Mineral King Road (Sequoia National Park) is closed for the season near the national park boundary.
  • Middle Fork Road (Foothills, Sequoia National Park) is closed to vehicles due to damage from winter storms in early 2023.
  • Panoramic Point Road (Grant Grove, Kings Canyon National Park) is closed now that snow has accumulate on the road.
  • Crystal Cave Road (Giant Forest, Sequoia National Park) is closed for the season.
  • Redwood Mountain Road (Kings Canyon National Park) remains closed due to hazardous conditions from the 2021 KNP Complex Fire and damage from winter storms in early 2023.

Roads

  • Coming from the south, Generals Highway is closed at the junction with Wolverton Road. General Sherman Tree and Wolverton snowplay area are accessible.
  • Generals Highway is closed for the winter season between the parks, from Wuksachi Lodge to Montecito Sequoia Lodge. It is not possible to travel between Grant Grove and Giant Forest during this closure. The road typically reopens in mid-March, depending on conditions.
  • When Generals Highway is open, the Sherman Tree is accessible from the Sherman Tree Winter Parking Area. The Sherman Tree Main Parking is closed for the season.The Main Sherman Tree Trailhead and Parking Area is closed due to snow accumulation. The Winter Parking Area has limited parking. The Sequoia Shuttle runs to the winter trailhead on holiday weekends in January and February. See below for shuttle information. Shuttle parking is available at Giant Forest Museum and Wolverton.

Parking

  • Expect parking at the Giant Forest Museum and General Sherman Tree to fill early on weekends and holidays.

Free Giant Forest Shuttle During Holiday Weekends in January and February

  • The free shuttle operates within the Giant Forest on the following dates.
    • January 13 - 14
    • February 17 - 18
  • Parking for the shuttle is recommended at Wolverton, especially on busy weekends and holidays.
  • Visit the shuttle webpage for more information about shuttle routes and stops.

Trails

  • Trails within the Giant Forest and Lodgepole areas are open but are snow covered. Once snow accumulates, only some trails have any winter markings; be prepared with traction deveices for your footwear after snow has accumulated.
  • Pick up a winter trail map (proceeds from trail maps go directly to the Sequoia Park Conservancy) at any visitor center.

Camping

  • All campgrounds are closed for the winter season.
  • Lodgepole Campground: reservations must be made in advance through Recreation.gov. Sites will be open for reservations starting January 24, 2024. Lodgepole Campground is the most popular campground in the parks and site availability may be extremely limited, especially on weekends and holidays.
  • Dorst Creek Campground is closed for the season.

Lodging

There is no overnight lodging in Giant Forest. Wuksachi Lodge and Restaurant is closed until March 15. When open, the Lodge offers overnight lodging and food service. See www.visitsequoia.com for more information.

Free Ranger Programs

Ranger-led programs are available. Visit the Giant Forest Museum or Lodgepole Visitor Center for more information. For the schedule of ranger talks and programs, see our events calendar. *Ranger programs are posted online about one week in advance.

Weather

  • Temperatures in the sequoia groves and the mountains are much cooler than in the valleys. Be prepared for below freezing temperatures. Bring extra warm layers of clothing, particularly for mornings and evenings.

Trails

  • Trails within the Grant Grove area are open but are snow covered. Only some trails have any route markings for winter travel; be prepared with traction devices for your footwear. Check at the Kings Canyon Visitor Center for the most up-to-date trail conditions.
  • Trails in the Redwood Canyon area are closed following damage from the 2021 KNP Complex Fire and will not reopen until conditions are safe.

Roads 

  • Generals Highway is closed for the winter season between the parks. It is not possible to travel between Grant Grove and Giant Forest during this closure. The road typically reopens in mid-March, depending on conditions.
  • Highway 180 is open up to the Hume Junction Gate. The Kings Canyon Scenic Byway to Cedar Grove is closed for the season. Re-opening is tentatively expected in June 2024, subject to change.
  • Hume Lake Road: Open from the Hwy 180 Junction to around Ten Mile Campground. Please call the Hume Lake Ranger District for the most current road conditions: (559) 338-2251.
  • Panoramic Point road is closed due to snow accumulation. It is not plowed during winter. When snow or ice accumulate the road is closed to vehicles. When closed, recreation by foot is allowed, although traction devices such as microspikes, snowshoes, or skis are recommended. The road re-opens when conditions allow. In early winter the road may close and then re-open to vehicles when snow and ice melts.    

Camping

  • Azalea Campground is the only open campground and has 20 first-come, first-served sites available through the winter. Campsites are not cleared of snow. Be prepared for winter camping. Payment is made through recreation.gov. Download the Recreation.gov app prior to arriving. Once the app is installed, payment can be made even when a device is offline.
  • During the spring. summer, and fall, most campgrounds fill well in advance of weekends and holidays. Reservation windows vary between campgrounds, see each individual campground page or Recreation.gov for more information.

Free Ranger Programs

Ranger-led programs are available. Visit the Kings Canyon Visitor Center for more information. For the schedule of ranger talks and programs, see our events calendar. *Ranger programs are posted online about one week in advance.

Highway 180, the only road into the Cedar Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park, is closed and will not open until summer 2024.

Due to severe road damage along the Highway 180 corridor between Grant Grove and Cedar Grove, Caltrans does not expect repairs to be completed until the summer of 2024.

Stay safe in the foothills

View the rivers from a distance. The water is very cold and swift. The soil near and along the rivers can be unstable. It can collapse unexpectedly under the weight of people, including children, and result in falls into the river.

Hospital Rock Pictographs

By working with local Native Americans, we’ve learned the pictographs at Hospital Rock are sacred to their communities. They are as important as any place of worship. Do not touch or mark on the pictographs or rocks here. If you see someone vandalizing this area, please let a park ranger know right away.

Trails

Check our Foothills Trails page for ideas to help you plan your trip. Also check the map of closures at the bottom of this page.

South Fork Road closure and damaged trails in the South Fork drainage.

  • The portion of South Fork Road within the park boundary that provides access to the trailheads for Ladybug Trail and Garfield Grove Trail suffered severe damage from flooding and landslides during 2022-2023 winter storms. The road is impassable to vehicles. Anyone wanting to travel on these trails should be self-reliant, as road damage makes any rescue effort challenging and subject to delays.

Camping

  • Potwisha Campground is open.  Reservations are required. Visit Recreation.gov to reserve your campsite.

Campground Closures

  • Buckeye Flat Campground is closed until further notice due to damage from repeated winter storms in early 2023.
  • South Fork Campground is currently inaccessible and closed due to damage from flooding and landslides from winter storms.  Damage to the campground and the access road are being assessed. At this time, it is unknown when the campground will re-open.

Free Ranger Programs

Ranger-led walks and talks are available. Visit the Foothills Visitor Center for more information. For the schedule of ranger talks and programs, see our events calendar. *Ranger programs are posted online about one week in advance.

Fire Restrictions in Summer

By mid-summer in most years fire restrictions are issued for the Foothills. See our fire restrictions page for details. If restrictions are in effect and you're planning to leave the foothills and head into the mountains to see sequoias, food and meals are available at the Wuksachi Lodge.

Current Fire Restrictions: None

  • See the Fire Restrictions page for details about the restrictions that can be in place during the summer and fall.

 

Map of Current Closures at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Click on a line or point for the name of the closed location.

Road and trail closures are shown in red. Individual point closures are shown with black pins. Area closures are shown in yellow.
Closures can change at any time and may differ from what is shown on this map.

 
 
  • A snowy path to the General Sherman Tree. Photo by Kirke Wrench.
    Winter Activities

    Plan your winter visit to the mountains!

  • A man installs chains on his vehicle. Photo by Kirke Wrench.
    Winter Driving & Tire Chains

    Be prepared for snowy mountain roads! Chains may be required at any time.

  • A large bus with sequoia graphics
    Winter Holiday Shuttles

    Avoid driving in snow! Ride our free winter holiday shuttles in Giant Forest and Lodgepole.

  • A person pushing another person in a wheelchair pauses a moment on a snowy trail.
    Accessibility

    We offer recreational opportunities suited for a wide range of abilities, including exhibits, walking, camping, and shuttle transportation.

  • Three smartphones with screens showing app features
    NPS Mobile App

    The official National Park Service app can guide you around the parks, no cell service needed.

  • Western Pacific Rattlesnake curled in pine needles at base of charred tree.
    General Safety

    Whether you trek into wilderness or stay close to your car, review tips on staying safe in these parks.

  • A river flows through a steep rocky canyon. Photo by Naoko Otani.
    Rivers

    The rivers in these parks are powerful and cold, and drowning is our most frequent cause of death. Learn more about river safety.

  • A metal food storage box is provided at each campsite.
    Store Food to Protect Wildlife

    Bears are active day and night. When camping or picnicking, all food, trash, and any item with a scent must be stored in food-storage boxes.

  • A moonrise over reddish peaks
    Backpacking

    Learn more about backpacking in these parks. Wilderness awaits!

 

Last updated: February 21, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

47050 Generals Highway
Three Rivers, CA 93271

Phone:

559 565-3341

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